Beatles Photo Auction To Feature Photos Of Beatles First American Concert

A Beatles photo auction featuring photos from the Beatles first concert in America are set to be auctioned off at Christies in New York.

A Beatles photo auction featuring photos from the Beatles' first concert in America is set to take place at Christie's in New York, reports The AP.

Photographer Mike Mitchell captured the Fab Four in action as they gave their first U.S. concert in Washington, D.C.

Forty-seven years later, Mitchell has produced 50 prints from his negatives of the event on Feb. 11, 1964 at Washington Coliseum and of the band's Sept. 13, 1964 performance at the Baltimore Civic Center, The AP reports.

Mitchell laughs when he describes the scene at the indoor arena that night — not only of screaming fans but also of his unrestricted access to the stage.

In contrast to later concerts by the quartet, there weren’t any cordoned-off media pens nor tight security that night.

"It was a long time ago. Things weren't that way then," the 65-year-old said in a telephone interview from Washington, where he lives and works as an art photographer, The AP reports.

"It was as low-tech as the concert itself. The concert was in a sports venue and the sound system was the sound system of a sports venue."

Also worth noting is how few other photographs from that first concert exist.

Simeon Lipman, head of Christie's pop culture department, said Mitchell's black and white photographs were remarkable for their quality.

"They're very close-up, very animated. The light is very interesting. They're very intimate shots," Lipman said, reports The AP. The negatives had been stored away by Mitchell all these years in a box in the basement of his home. For the prints in the auction, he used digital technology to do "much better 'darkroom' work that could ever have been done in a traditional darkroom." The batch of prints show the Beatles in their early signature mop hairdo and suit and tie outfits. Mr. Mitchell said they will have a nearly invisible "secret moniker" that will not be used for any other of his images, The AP reports. Mitchell also said he had not given the photos much thought until now because he has been preoccupied with developing photographic work about light that took him on a different aesthetic journey. Also, until recently, he said, the images "couldn't be restored to the extent that they have." The prints will go up for auction July 20, and the total pre-sale estimate is $100,000. Each picture will be sold separately, reports The AP.
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